If you think back over the winter season, your tires probably did a lot of work this year. With all the snow that fell and even froze into ice, a good set of tires became essential for safe travels, whether you were just traveling within town or out to another area. Now that winter is finally over, maintenance tricks that worked in the winter won’t do the same thing now that warmer weather has arrived. It’s time to start thinking about how to care for your tires in the spring in order to get the most for your money and stay safe on the roads.
1. Remove Snow Tires
Snow tires (or winter tires) are designed specifically to give the driver a better grip on snowy or icy roads. The special tread combined with a softer rubber makes it easier for the tire to dig into the snow and hold onto the road – preventing the car from sliding around. In the warmer months, you don’t need that extra traction. Additionally, the softer rubber will wear faster on the warm and dry pavement. Overall, all seasons tires will last longer, which means switching your winter tires out now will save you money in the long run.
2. Look For Alignment Issues
Thawing roads lead to a car’s worst nightmare – potholes. If you think you’re lucky because a pothole didn’t blow out your tire, you could be missing a more subtle problem with your car – alignment issues. Alignment problems cause unnecessary wear on your tires and other parts of your car, which could cost you more than your willing to pay. It’s better to check for signs of these problems early to avoid future damage.
3. Be Ready For Rain
Spring is especially known for an excessive amount of rain. When driving in the rain, good tread on your tires will help you avoid hydroplaning. The best way to check for appropriate tread heights is using the penny test. By placing a penny into the tread of your tires, you can tell if it’s time to invest in some new ones or if you still have some time to drive safely before making a tire purchase.
4. Buy Tires In 4s
You may be wondering if it’s worth just buying one or maybe two tires at a time, instead of buying all four at once. Although it’s not the worst idea in the world, splitting your tire purchase gives your car an uneven grip on the pavement – meaning the traction isn’t as good as it could be for the driver. So if you can afford to buy all of your tires at once, we suggest going that route – it’s just safer.
5. Check Your Tire Pressure
No matter what season you’re in, always remember to check your tire’s air pressure regularly. Tires with incorrect pressures have been know to compromise cornering, braking, and stability. So for the safety of the driver, it’s important to check tire pressure on a regular basis. Using a tire gauge, add (or remove) air until the pressure matches your car’s specifications.
We’re all excited for spring to start, but it’s crucial that we prepare our cars for the changing weather. Following these steps will keep drivers safe and wallets full.